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Showing posts with label Excerpt Reveal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Excerpt Reveal. Show all posts
Wednesday, May 5, 2021

It's about the get REEL!

Reel, Kennedy Ryan’s new breathtaking standalone romance set in the glamorous world of film and theater, is coming June 8th, and we have the beautiful cover and your first look!  Read an excerpt and enter to win one of 10 paperback copies below. 

Reel by Kennedy Ryan Book Cover
Cover Designer: Lori Jackson Design
Photographer: Sophia Barrett Studios
Models: Jasmine Raiford and Ajayi Bodden 
Add Reel to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3upMOqY

Award-Winning Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Kennedy Ryan launches a brand new series with a Hollywood tale of wild ambition, artistic obsession, and unrelenting love.


One moment in the spotlight.


For months I stood by, an understudy waiting in the wings, preparing for my time to shine. 

I never imagined he would watch in the audience that night. 

Canon Holt.

Famous film director.

Fascinating. Talented. Fine.

Before I could catch my breath, everything changed. 

I went from backstage Broadway to center stage Hollywood.

From being unknown, to my name, Neevah Saint, on everyone’s lips.

Canon casts me in a star-studded Harlem Renaissance biopic, catapulting me into another stratosphere. 


But stars shine brightest in the dead of night.

Forbidden attraction, scandal and circumstances  beyond my control jeopardize my dream.

Could this one shot—the role of a lifetime, the love of a lifetime—cost me everything?


Reserve your copy today!

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*Affiliate Links


Enter the Goodreads Giveaway! Kennedy is giving away 10 Signed Reel Paperbacks!

http://bit.ly/REELGoodreadsGive


Follow Hollywood Renaissance series on Instagram:

@TheHollywoodRenaissanceSeries



Keep reading for the very first excerpt from Reel! 


When the show reaches its climax, at the very end, the song pries the final note from my diaphragm, pulls it from my throat and suspends it—leaves it throbbing in the air. The theater goes quiet for the space of a breath held by 800 people and then explodes. 

Applause.

The relief is knee-weakening. I literally have to grab John, the lead actor's arm for support. He doesn’t miss a beat, pulling me into his side and squeezing.

“Bravo,” he whispers, a broad, genuine smile spread across his face. The last song made me cry, and my face, still wet from those tears, splits into a wide, disbelieving grin.

I did it. I survived my first Broadway performance. 

The lights drop and we rush backstage, a cacophony of laughter and chatter filling the hidden passageways. When the curtain call begins, the cast return to the stage in small waves, the applause building as the principals take their bows. 

And then it’s my turn. On legs still shaky, I leave the safety of the wings, the long skirt of my costume belling out around me. I take center stage. The applause crescendos, approval vibrating through my bones and jolting my soul. Someone thrusts flowers into my arms and the sweet smell wafts around me. Every sense, every molecule of my being strains, opens, stretches to absorb this small slice of triumph. I can’t breathe deeply enough. The air comes in shallow sips, and I’m dizzy. The world spins like a top, a kaleidoscope of colors and light and sound that threatens to overwhelm me. The whirl of it makes me giddy, and I laugh. Eyes welling with tears, I laugh.

These are the moments a lifetime in the making. We toil in the shadows of our dreams. In the alleys of preparation and hard work where it’s dark and nothing’s promised. For years, we cling by a thread of hope and imagination, dedicating our lives to a pursuit with no guarantees.

But tonight, if only for tonight, it’s all worth it.

I’m still floating when Takira bursts into the dressing room.

“Neevah!” she screams, throwing her arms around me and rocking me back and forth. “You did it. You chewed that performance up and spat it out. You hear me?”

I laugh and return her squeeze, new tears trailing down my cheeks. 

“Thank you.” I pull back to peer into my friend’s face. “I can’t believe it.”

“Well, believe it. You served notice.” She snaps her fingers and grins. “Neevah Saint is here.”

“Now to do it seven more times.” I laugh and start taking pins from the wig, which is as hot as a herd of sheep on my head.

“Oh, you got it, unless Elise hears how amazing you were and cuts her vacation short.”

“Not happening. She was ready for a break, but she’d never missed a show.” 

I strip off the costume and stand in only panties, unselfconscious. Modesty is one of the first things to go in this business. I’ve undressed hurriedly in a roomful of actors and dancers in smaller shows where there was a dressing room, so we get real communal real fast. 

I tug on skinny jeans with a tight-fitting orange sweater, and layer it with a brown leather jacket, scarf, boots. I wipe away the heavy stage makeup. It feels like my skin can breathe for the first time in hours. I assume there will be some fans at the stage door, even if it’s just a few. They’ll have to get the real Neevah because I don’t want anything more than a slick of lip gloss and a bit of mascara. A brown, orange and green plaid newsboy cap covering the neat cornrows I wore under my wig is all I’m doing for hair. Slim oversized gold hoops in my ears finish the look.

“Ready?” I ask Takira, hefting a slouchy bag on my shoulder.

“Let’s do this. Hopefully your adoring fans won’t take all night, ’cause your girl is starving.”

We’re still laughing, and I’m so preoccupied with my empty stomach, I’m completely unprepared for the crowd at the stage door. Are they here for John? For some principal player because surely they’re not all here for the understudy.

“Neevah!” a young girl, maybe ten or eleven, calls. “Can you sign this?”

She thrusts a pen and a Splendor playbill toward me. She glows, her smooth brown cheeks rounded with a wide grin. Her eyes shine with . . . pride?

“Oh, sure,” I mumble dazedly, taking the pen and signing my name. 

She’s the first in a long line of girls, all shapes and colors and ages, saying what it meant to see me onstage. Mothers whispering how impactful it was for their Black and brown daughters to be in the audience tonight. The impact is on me; what could feel like a weight or burden or responsibility feels like a warm embrace. Feels like strong arms encircling me. Supporting me. The first time I saw someone who looked like me onstage, it planted a seed inside of me. It whispered a dream.

That could be you.

It makes me emotional to think I might have done that for any of these girls tonight, and I spend the next twenty minutes scribbling my name on playbills through a film of tears.

“Neevah!” a deep male voice calls from the back of the now-thinning crowd.

I squint at the tall man, frowning until I place him.

“Wright!” I take a few steps and he meets me halfway, giving me a tight hug. “Oh, my God. You were here tonight?”

“Was I here?” When he pulls back, a warm smile creases his handsome face. “You blew it out of the water. I knew you were good, but damn.”

Laughter spills out of me and I don’t think this night could get more perfect. I randomly met Wright Bellamy a few weeks back at a gig when he subbed for the pianist, giving the audience more than they bargained for with such a famous musician tickling the ivories that night.

“Thank you.” I step away and shove my hands into the pockets of my jeans, huddling in the leather jacket against the chill of an October night. “I was nervous as hell.”

“Didn’t show. Your voice is spectacular. I knew that from the gig we did, but I had no idea you were that good. Wow. Glad I saw your post on Instagram or I would’ve missed it.”

I’m stone-still, shocked that he came tonight specifically to see me perform. “I’m so glad you made it. You’re still in LA, right?”

“Yeah, but I’m here for some stuff. Heading back home in a few days.”

Takira walks up, linking her arm through mine. “Girl, if we don’t get some food,” she whispers.

“Oh, yeah. Sorry.” I turn back to Wright. “Takira, this is Wright Bellamy. Wright, my friend Takira.”

“Nice to meet you,” Takira says. “You got any food on you? I’m about to eat your hat.” 

As usual, Takira never meets a stranger and has us laughing right away.

“We’re actually headed to Glass House Tavern,” I tell Wright. “Come if you want. It’s a group of us from the show. Just some of the cast celebrating, but you’re welcome. We can catch up.”

A small frown dents between his thick brows and he glances over his shoulder.

“I mean, no pressure obviously,” I rush to assure him. This is one of the biggest names in music, and here I go, inviting him to dinner with a group of strangers. 

“No, it sounds cool,” he says, looking back to us. “Lemme check with my boy. Can he come?”

I glance over his shoulder and spot a tall man turned away from us, his broad shoulders and back straining a wool blazer, a hoodie pulled up to cover his head and face in the cold. His hands burrow into the pockets of his blazer and he’s nodding like he’s talking to himself.

“He’s on the phone,” Wright explains. “But lemme see if he wants to roll.”

He steps away toward the man and Takira immediately squeezes my hand and squeals.

“Neeve.” Her eyes are wide and bright. Mouth dropped open. “That’s Wright Bellamy.”

“I know. He’s cool as a fan.”

“You know him? How—”

“We’re in,” Wright says, stepping back up beside us. “He’s finishing a call, but we’re ready. Lead the way.”

It’s just a few blocks, and the three of us chat about the show and what Wright’s been doing in New York. All the while his friend’s deep voice rumbles a few paces behind. I don’t want to be rude or nosy and look back, but the rich timbre, his towering height, his face obscured by the hoodie—I’m intrigued. He hangs back on the sidewalk, still on his call, when we enter the restaurant. 

Our friends already have a table and a shout goes up, congratulating me on popping my White Way cherry. My three understudy buddies came. John’s here, too, and one other principal. A few from the stage crew. Our little troupe has become a family and, as if eight shows a week isn’t enough time together, we gather and eat every chance we get. 

“You’re not paying tonight,” John says, holding out the seat beside him. “And drinks are on me.”

“Awwww.” I plop into the chair and drop my bag to the floor. “You’re so sweet. You don’t have to do that.”

“You were fantastic,” John says, baby blue eyes sincere and smiling. “Let’s do it again tomorrow.”

Takira is already sitting beside me, so Wright takes the seat next to her.

“Hey,” he says to Janie across the table. “Could you hold that seat beside you for my friend? He’s wrapping up a call, but’ll be in soon.”

“Sure.” Janie blushes. “I love your work, by the way. The score of Silent Midnight . . . gah.” 

“Thank you. That was a special project. Lots of fun,” Wright replies with a smile. “Now tell me about the show.”

Wright’s a genius, but he’s so unassuming and modest. A man as famous as he is could easily make this conversation about him, let everyone at this table give his ego a real nice hand job, but he doesn’t. He talks about our show, compliments the performance, asks John about his process. I liked him when we did that last-minute gig, and we’ve interacted some on social media since. My impression of him holds up. He’s a good guy. 

Not to state the obvious, but also fine. Like fine fine.

He has this Boris Kodjoe vibe. Real smooth. Kind of golden–brown. Clean-cut, close-cut. I can objectively recognize his appeal, even though he’s not my type. 

Not that I have a type lately. I’m so deep in this dick drought I’m past the point of thirst. 

At first I thought it was merely the grind. Auditioning constantly, taking craft classes, doing commercials and voiceover work to not just keep bills paid, but to save. This business is feast or famine. I’m eating now, but I’ve been hungry before. Not again. I’m thirty. Too old to still be living gig to gig and buying into that starving artist thing. I need health insurance and regularly scheduled meals, thank you very much. So yeah, the grind could account for my semi-disinterested libido, but I suspect it’s more. 

Maybe I’m disinterested.

I need a man who doesn’t think that because he has a dick and I don’t that I should defer to him—shrink my dreams down to a more manageable size. I’m cautious not only about who I share my heart and body with, but I’m also protective of my dreams; of my ambition. I won’t endanger my future for a man who can fuck. Though . . . a man who can fuck? I wouldn’t turn it down, but it will take more than that to pique my interest.

“What are you getting?” Takira asks, leaning over to read my menu instead of hers. “Anything here meet your high standards?”

My standards aren’t that high. I’ve just cut out red meat and stopped drinking as much alcohol. My health demands it. 

“I’m thinking about the salmon, but I—”

A chair scraping across the floor catches my attention. Wright’s friend has finally come inside to join us. The table shrinks immediately when he settles his imposing frame into the seat beside Janie. He peels the hood away from his head and I bite off a gasp.

It’s Canon Holt.

Like the Canon Holt.

The director I, and probably every actress at this table and in this dining room, would sacrifice a pinky toe to work with. Canon Holt is at my table sitting across from me. 

Takira’s expression doesn’t register this massive earthquake of a revelation, but she kicks me under the table and hisses from the corner of her mouth. “Did you know?”

I pretend I need to reach for something on the floor so I can whisper back, “Do you think I would have kept my shit together this long if I knew?”

“True. True.” Takira casually glances up from her menu and smiles in Canon’s general direction, but he’s not looking at her. He’s studying his screen. He’s apparently in an exclusive relationship with his phone, and no one at this table tempts him to stray.

Which means I can look at him.

Good. God.

He’s not that handsome, but that’s irrelevant. Some might even call his features, examined on their own, unremarkable. 

They’d be wrong.

It’s a Maker’s sleight of hand. Now God knew this man did not need lashes that long and thick, a paradox against the hard, high slant of his cheekbones. Canon hasn’t looked twice at anyone here as far as I can tell, but I’ve stolen enough glances to know there’s a fathomlessness to his dark eyes that is arresting. His unsmiling mouth is wide, the lips full in the blunt elegance of his face. A five o’clock shadow licks the ridge of his jawline. There is a geometry to him—angles, lines, edges—that disregards the individual parts and illuminates the compelling sum.

WANT MORE REEL? Click here for the rest >> www.thehollywoodrenaissanceseries.com/excerpt 



About Kennedy Ryan


A USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Kennedy Ryan and her writings have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Cosmo, TIME, O Mag and many others. A RITA® Award winner, Kennedy writes empowered women from all walks of life and centers those who have found themselves perennially on the margins of traditional storytelling. 


Her Hoops Series (Long Shot, Block Shot and Hook Shot) and All the King's Men Series (The Kingmaker, The Rebel King and Queen Move) have been optioned for television.


An autism mom, Kennedy co-founded LIFT 4 Autism, an annual charitable initiative, and has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for autism families. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son.



Connect with Kennedy 



Text KennedyRyan to 797979 for release alerts!

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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Excerpt: Used by Kate Dunbar

USED, a brand new standalone romantic suspense from debut author Kate Dunbar, will be releasing on March 8, 2021 on all retailers!  Read an excerpt below. 

Used by Kate Dunbar Book cover

Pre-order:

Amazon US  https://amzn.to/3e3aj4a

Amazon Intl  https://geni.us/4fBU5

Apple  https://apple.co/3risUMX

Kobo  https://fave.co/2YJInt3

Nook  http://bit.ly/2LMTD4z

Audio  https://amzn.to/3rb8oyb

Paperback  https://amzn.to/3kzGLwc

Goodreads  https://bit.ly/38AlFct


Synopsis:

Heartbreakingly beautiful and completely engrossing, Used is packed full of twists, turns, and a gripping romance sure to leave readers emotionally spent and asking for more.


At the age of seventeen, after a decade of lies, hurt, and severe abuse by her brother Lucas, Sabra Valentine is able to breathe.


Lucas is behind bars thanks in large part to Sabra's quick thinking and self-preservation-even if that's one more secret she has to keep.


Now, seven years later, life is moving forward, and Sabra is starting to heal, live, and love again with her friends and Trevor Collins by her side. He's tall, dark, and sexy, and he doesn't fall for Sabra's games. The future is finally looking bright-until one phone call shatters everything.


Used is a romantic suspense with domestic thriller elements. Please be aware that there are topics that may be triggers for some readers, and this work is meant for mature readers.


Excerpt

Trevor moves behind me as we climb through the boulders and follow the path to our destination. He places his hand on the small of my back to help me navigate. I slip on some loose rocks and slide backward. But Trevor reaches around to steady me. Always the gentleman. Always there for me. 

I smile at him and whisper a soft thanks. Reward him with the light touch of my lips on his. The kiss deepens, electricity crackling between us, and I pull away. Trevor lets me go but not before he brushes his fingers across my chest. My nipples immediately harden under his touch and his intake of breath lets me know he felt it too. There’s no hiding it even if he hadn’t felt it. The light of the moon shines bright overhead, illuminating the path before us. And the lace bra, while amazing for its push-up factor, paired with the t-shirt doesn’t leave much to the imagination. Which is exactly why I chose it. 

Trevor pulls me into his arms when I take a quick step forward and slides his hands across my chest. This time they stop when they hit their mark. He gives a slight tug on my nipple through the shirt, growling in my ear, “Are you sure we can’t stop right here?” 

I turn in his arms and grin at him wickedly. “I promise it will be worth the wait.” 

“That’s what you keep saying. And while I fully believe that statement—think I’ve proved that over the years—I think it might be worth taking a quick break.”

I can’t form a reply as the power shifts between us. Trevor pushes his leg between mine, backing me against one of the rocks. It’s taller than I am. Than Trevor is. Our own little cocoon of solitude. 

His mouth locks on mine. Two hands land on my ass, hitching my hips closer to him. His tongue parts my lips and he teases me. My pulse quickens and I pull away gasping for air. It’s all the pause and encouragement he needs, giving him time to grab the hem of my shirt and lift it over my head. 

I don’t stop him. Who can see us now? This is right where I want him. 

I place my hands on his chest, slide them to the top of his jeans, and allow my fingertips to stroke the trail of dark hair leading to uncharted territory. Then I move in, kissing my way up his neck, back to his lips. 

Trevor has other plans. He ducks his head, kisses my collarbone heading south, leaving a path of fire. I close my eyes and feel my body tighten, reacting when his tongue finds my nipple through the lace. We may not get to the blanket after all. 

I pull away, trying not to seem too eager, but Trevor grips my waist and brings me closer. His tongue slides, sucks and flicks my nipple through the lace bra. My arms make their way around him and I play with the hair at the back of his neck. 

It can’t possibly get any better than this. His fingers move to the lace cupping my breasts and release me into the air. I feel his warm mouth take in the entire pinkness of my nipple and I’m done. I guess it can get better. 

Trevor: Two, Sabra: Two

His hands roam all over me, rubbing against my bare skin. Through my jeans. My body is short-circuiting. It’s wet everywhere that matters. I’m going to explode if I don’t get some sort of release soon. 

I move my hands down his hips to the button-fly on his jeans. My fingers tremble with the thought of releasing him and being able to touch him. Taste him. His mouth takes turns, moving between my breasts. It curves into a smile against my chest. He stands with one final flick of his tongue, pulls the lace back over my breast, and takes a small step backward. 

What the hell? 

Trevor’s eyes bore a hole in mine. He smirks at my confusion. “I’d say that was enough of a rest. Should we keep going?” He laughs out loud, a full belly laugh, when he sees the grimace across my face. 

“Really, Trevor? You can just stop like that?”

“I’m sure if your mouth had been on me it would be a different story, but you kept your lips to yourself—for the most part—and, instead, mine were on you.” He slips closer and whispers in my ear, “Tasting you. Sliding over you. And by your reaction, they were doing okay for themselves. It looks like two can play this game.” He takes a step forward. “You coming?” 

Damn. 

Trevor: Three, Sabra: Two. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Hot Excerpt: Prince Charming (Cinderella #2) by K. Webster

Prince Charming, a Cinderella novel, from  K. Webster is coming on January 26th!  Read an excerpt below.  You can start this series for 99 cents!  Download Stroke of Midnight on Amazon or from other retail outlets below. 

Prince Charming by K. Webster Book Cover

PRINCE CHARMING (Cinderella #2) by K. Webster

Release Date: January 26th

Add to Goodreads: 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55509539-prince-charming



Preorder Prince Charming TODAY: 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MftrQE

Apple: http://apple.co/3qxFgjU

B&N: http://bit.ly/3oeKm3z

Kobo: https://fave.co/39VHNNY

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2XbIeOs



Start the Series today with Stroke of Midnight! 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3o5q7Vo

Apple Books: http://apple.co/392lkzC

B&N: https://bit.ly/3bk35oN

Kobo: https://fave.co/390ujkR

Google Play: https://bit.ly/34UmJ9S



Blurb:

Winston Constantine is no prince charming...

I crave him so badly I think I might be losing my mind. He's right in front of me, but he’s just as remote as my dreams of getting away from my stepbrothers. I keep playing his twisted games, and I want to stay just as distant as he is. But I can’t. I never could. I’ve fallen for him. Hopelessly. Irrevocably.

But Winston isn’t a lover, he’s a business venture.

A way for me to pay for college.

A ticket out.

He’s never pretended to be anything other than that.

I can’t blame him for making me fall in love.

There can be no happily ever after between a maid and a prince, no matter what the stories say.



Excerpt:

“Let’s see what the poor maid bought her boss,” he taunts, his fingers digging into my thighs as he roughly holds onto me.

“I didn’t buy it,” I sass back. “I made it.”

He rolls his eyes, making him seem much younger like Keaton. It makes me laugh. I reach over to the nightstand and grab the envelope off the top.

“Here.”

“A gift card to Starbucks. How original.”

I smack at his bare chest. “It’s not a gift card, asshole.”

He smirks as he opens the card. His brow lifts in question as he pulls out a handmade booklet. “Coupons.”

I grin at him. “Cool, right?”

Ignoring me, he flips open the booklet. “A coupon for one free massage from Ash.” His eyes dart to mine, amusement dancing in them. “I could go to the spa and get a massage from someone qualified.”

“Would they do it naked?” I taunt.

“Hmm,” is all he says as he flips to the next page. “Bedtime story by Ash. A bedtime story, huh? A story about the big, bad wolf with his dick up Goldilocks’s ass?”

I cackle and smack him again. “You’re an idiot.”

He flips the page and shakes his head. “A free cuddle. I can assure you, I’m never using this coupon.”

I pout, earning a smile from him. “You never know. They don’t expire so you’re good there.”

“You thought of everything, I see,” he remarks, his eyes back on the booklet. “A trip to the candy store. Hmm.”

“There’s a really neat place where you can mix and match—”

“I don’t eat candy,” he interrupts, flashing me his perfect white teeth.

“Fine, we’ll buy some for Perry. We’re going and soon. I’m running low on cherry Starburst.”

He flips the page. “Movie night in Winston’s bed.”

“Sounds fun, right?”

“All of this sounds like torture if we’re being honest.”

“But you love torture,” I argue.

“When I’m the one doing the torturing.” He tosses the coupon book away and grabs onto my neck, pulling me to him. “That was the most ridiculous gift I’ve ever received.”

“You’re welcome,” I say with a grin.

His lips press to mine, and he kisses me like he’s thankful for the most ridiculous gift. Since I was naked and waiting for him, it doesn’t take long for him to shove his boxers down, freeing his thick, eager cock. Greedily, I slide up and down his length, letting him feel how hot he gets me. His tongue spears into my mouth, and his grip on my ass is nearly painful. I arch my back, lining my opening up with the tip of his dick and then flex my hips so that he slides inside my body. With a hard thrust, he bucks into me. His fingers are going to leave bruises as he forcefully guides me to meet his rhythm. I pant heavily against his mouth, trying to keep up with his maddening pace.

“Oh god,” I groan, grinding against him, loving how he hits me in all the right spots. “So good.”

He pinches my nipple and twists it until I whimper. His lips pepper me with hungry, open-mouthed kisses along my jaw. When he gets to my throat, he sucks hard enough to make me gasp. With each powerful thrust up into me, I grow more and more dizzy by the need to come. Raking my nails over his chest, I revel in the sharp hiss that escapes him. He nips at my throat hard enough I cry out.

Mine.

I feel the word whispered over my flesh more than I hear it. It’s enough to send me over the edge. Stars glitter around me as my orgasm tears through me, obliterating my every nerve ending. He comes with a growl that sets my soul on fire. Heat floods into me, claiming me as his, just like he said.

I collapse onto his sweaty chest, breathing heavily. “How much to keep you right here for the night just like this?”

“Everything you earned tonight.”

It’s then, I realize we can do this. Without the money if we have to. I’d have to get a real job and an apartment, but we could still have this. We could keep our games and our fantastic sex and our teasing conversations. He’s protective and caring and in tune with my needs.

I’m not Meredith.

I would take care of his heart, not break it.

He just has to let me inside.

“Deal.” I stroke my finger over his shoulder. “Happy birthday, Win.”

“Indeed it is, Cinderelliott.”

I make him happy.

The billionaire who has everything finds enjoyment in the company of me. Some might say it’s a fairy tale ending, but even I know Winston’s no charming prince.



About K. Webster:

K Webster is a USA Today Bestselling author. Her titles have claimed many bestseller tags in numerous categories, are translated in multiple languages, and have been adapted into audiobooks. She lives in “Tornado Alley” with her husband, two children, and her baby dog named Blue. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and researching aliens.


Connect w/K. Webster: 

Website: https://www.authorkwebster.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkwebster 

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KristiWebster

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorkwebster 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7741564.K_Webster Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/k-webster 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/K-Webster/e/B00JOJ86CW 

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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Excerpt Reveal: The Anti-Boyfriend by Penelope Ward

Read an excerpt from The Anti-Boyfriend by Penelope Ward.  This standalone contemporary romance is going on my Best of 2020 List! 
Hot book covers
EXCERPT REVEAL
Title: The Anti-Boyfriend
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 31, 2020

BLURB

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.

At first, my neighbor Deacon frustrated me.

Sure, he was great-looking and friendly.

But our walls were thin, and on occasion, he’d bring women to his place and keep me awake while he “entertained” them.

As a single mother to an infant, I didn’t appreciate it.

So, finally it was my turn.

When my daughter wouldn’t stop wailing one night, Mr. Manwhore came knocking on my door.


Miraculously, at the sound of his voice, Sunny stopped crying. And when he held her…she eventually fell asleep in his arms.

Deacon was rough on the exterior, but apparently on the inside? Mr. Single-and-Ready-to-Mingle was a baby whisperer.

After that night, we became friends.

He’d go for coffee runs. Come over to chat. Normal friend stuff.

But over time, our conversations ran deeper. We got closer.

Until one night we crossed the line.

Our friendship turned into a complicated mess.

I’d gone and fallen for a guy who’d sworn off commitment and kids.

I knew Deacon was starting to care for me too, even though Sunny and I didn’t fit into any plan he’d ever imagined for himself.

He was wrong for me—so wrong that I’d dubbed him the “anti-boyfriend.”

Then why did I wish more than anything that I could be the one woman to change him?


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EXCERPT

Copyright © 2020
By Penelope Ward 

Today, just as I got back to my door, Deacon was exiting his apartment.
“Oh, hey, Carys-Like-Paris. How goes it?” He flashed a wide smile.
When people ask me my name, for some stupid reason, I sometimes answer, “Carys, like Paris,” particularly when I’m nervous. That was the case the first time I met Deacon.
A whiff of his amazing smell put my body on alert. He looked handsome as always. Today he wore a camel-colored suede coat with a shearling collar. His blue eyes, which stood out against his tanned skin, glimmered under the fluorescent lights overhead, which also brought out the copper tint to his otherwise medium-brown hair. He was at least six-foot-two—a beanstalk to my five-foot-four self.
This was my opportunity to bring up last night. But now that he was right here, towering over me, his musky smell saturating the air, I seemed to have lost the words. Still, I was determined to speak up now or never.
My heartbeat accelerated. Here goes. Still out of breath from my sprint up the stairs, I said, “Well, honestly, in answer to your question… I’d love to say I’m doing great, but I had a hard time getting to sleep last night. So, I’ve been better.”
He frowned. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Actually, it’s sort of your fault.”
Deacon’s forehead crinkled. “My fault?”
“Yeah. I don’t know if you realize this, but your bed is right up against mine, on the opposite side of the wall. Your…interactions…last night woke me up, and I had a hard time getting back to sleep.”
Boom.
There.
Said it.
Deacon closed his eyes momentarily. “Shit. I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were right behind me.”
“Yeah. It’s basically like I’m…right there.”
“Well, that was rude of me. I should’ve invited you to join.”
What? It felt like all my blood rushed to my head.
He held out his palms. “I’m kidding. Bad sense of humor comes out when I feel awkward, I guess.”
Slipping a piece of my hair behind my ear, I brushed off his comment. “I know you’re kidding.”
“Totally kidding.” He smiled. “But I’ll try to be more considerate now that I know you can hear everything. You should’ve said something.”
I tilted my head. “How exactly would that have worked? Barging in on two naked people? That’s why I’m saying something now.”
“Solid point. But I take it last night wasn’t the first time you overheard things?”
I looked down at my feet. “No, it wasn’t.”
“You could’ve banged on the wall or something.”
“I’m not one to rudely interrupt someone’s…personal happenings. I just wanted you to be aware of the situation. We don’t need to discuss it further.”
“Maybe we should come up with a code.”
“What do you mean?”
“Like, If I’m disturbing your peace, you play a song and crank it up to send me a message.” He snapped his fingers. “Something ironic like ‘The Sounds of Silence’ by Simon and Garfunkel.”
“Can’t exactly crank up a song when a baby is sleeping.”
His smile faded. “See? That goes to show you how clueless I am. Clueless and so sorry, Carys. Truly. I’ll try not to let it happen again.”
“It better not, fuckboy!” a voice shouted from behind one of the apartment doors.
Deacon and I turned around in unison. I noticed Mrs. Winsbanger’s door move across the hall. The old lady must have been listening in. She lived alone, and I often spotted her peeking out her door, spying on people.
Deacon grimaced. “Mrs. Winsbanger loves me.”
“Apparently I’m not the only one who overheard things last night,” I said.
His face turned red. His embarrassment was a bit surprising. I’d expected him to be more cocky.
“I’ll move my bed to the other side of the room. That should help.”
“Well, that would be nice, if it’s not too much trouble.”
“It’s not.”
Happy to have the conversation over with, I let out a long breath. “Okay, well, I’ll let you get going.”
He didn’t budge and seemed to be examining my face. “You okay?”
“Yeah. Why?”
“You seem frazzled.”
Well, yeah. I didn’t get good sleep, I’m trying to get things done in possibly the only hour of the day I have free, and we just had the most awkward conversation EVER.
“This is just me—my life. I have what could be barely more than an hour to eat my lunch and have some quiet time before my daughter wakes up from her nap.”
“Ah.” He scratched his chin. “How old is she now?”
“Six months.”
Deacon knew I was a single mom. He’d run into me one day and helped me bring groceries in while I tried to juggle Sunny and her stroller.
I was just about to head back inside my apartment when his voice stopped me.
“Do you need anything?”
I wasn’t entirely sure what he meant. “Like what?”
“Something from the store? A…coffee, maybe? I’m just headed out to run a quick errand, but I can stop somewhere on the way back.”
“It’s the least you can do, monkey balls!” Mrs. Winsbanger chimed in from across the hall.
She was apparently still listening.
“Did she just fucking call me monkey balls?” he whispered.
At that moment, I lost it. Laughter got a hold of me, and it took almost a minute before I could even speak. Deacon laughed, too, but I think he was more cracking up at my reaction.
“No idea why she just called you monkey balls. But I haven’t laughed this hard in weeks.”
After I finally calmed down, Deacon repeated his earlier question.
“Anyway, as I was saying, can I get you a coffee or something?”
His offer gave me pause. It was rare that anyone asked if I needed anything. I had a couple of good friends in the city, but they worked and had busy social lives. It wasn’t like they were around in the middle of the day to run to the store for me. And given that it was fall in New York, it was getting chilly out. I had to have a damn good reason to take Sunny out in the cold.
Honestly, I was dying for a latte from Starbucks. Running to the coffee shop was definitely something people without babies took for granted. It wasn’t worth having to bundle Sunny up.
“I would love a vanilla latte from Starbucks, if you pass one on your way back,” I finally said.
“Done.” He smiled. “That’s it?”
“Just one pump of vanilla would be great.”
“One pump. Got it. Anything else?”
“Isn’t that enough? It’s hardly a necessity. I shouldn’t be taking advantage.”
“Take advantage of me. What else do you need? Seriously. It’s the least I can do after disturbing your peace last night.”
Take advantage of me. Yup. Mind straight in the gutter. “You’re not my gopher.”
“Carys….” His baritone voice turned serious, and he repeated in a slow and exaggerated manner, “What. Do. You. Need? I could run to the store.”
There was something else I desperately needed.
“Diapers?” I said hesitantly.
“Okay.” He laughed. “You’re gonna have to help me out with those. I’ve never purchased them in my life.”
Before I could tell him what size, he handed me his phone. I was all too aware of the brief touch of his hand.
“Enter your digits. I’ll text you from the store to make sure I get the right kind.”
I did as he said before handing him back the phone, once again enjoying the contact from that brief exchange. Cheap thrills were as good as it got these days.
He put it in his pocket. “Anything else?”
“Not that I can think of.”
“Alright. Well, if you change your mind, you can let me know when I text.”
“Thank you. I really appreciate it.”
“Talk to ya in a bit,” he said before heading down the hall.
I stood by my door and watched him walk away. The view from the back was just as good as the front. And moreover, it seemed Deacon was just as lovely on the inside as he was on the outside.
“One pump my ass,” I heard Mrs. Winsbanger say before she slammed her door.


AUTHOR BIO
Romance Author


Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.


AUTHOR LINKS



OTHER BOOKS BY PENELOPE WARD

Just One Year


The Day He Came Back


When August Ends

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3aGl1cU

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